TQM IMPLEMENTATION

                  Roma Adomaitiene * Juozas Ruzevicius **


    World economic integration causes internationalisation processes of quality. A lot of
unified methods, principles and criteria are used in different countries. As more and more
organisations want to become competitive, the universal philosophy and methodology of Total
Quality Management (TQM) has been created and applied in business and other spheres of
    In spite of TQM universality in Lithuania it is spread mostly in manufacture and in some
kinds of service business. However, there is not much done in TQM implementation in such
spheres as teaching in colleges and universities, research and consulting business in
    The purpose of this article is to analyse TQM models, experience and problems of its
application in business and to study possibilities of TQM implementation in Lithuanian
education institutions. In the construction of TQM model suitable for higher education in
Lithuania we will look through the two aspects of TQM implementation: the first, TQM as a
teaching course, and the second, its usage for assurance of teaching and research quality.

1. Internationalisation of quality

    World economic integration and development of international trade cause
processes of quality internationalisation as the main element of competition in
different spheres of business.
    Solid co-operation of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international
and regional institutions of standardisation and certification speed up processes of
quality internationalisation. WTO approved the code of preparation, adoption and
implementation of standards. This code relates standardisation and technical
regulation of trade. In international business for this moment there is a system of
technical, economic and legal regulation of quality presented in exhibit 1.

*  Doctoral student - University of Vilnius, Lithuania
   e−mail: Roma.Adomaitiene@ef.vu.lt
** Professor Department of Quality Management, Faculty of Economics, University of
   Vilnius, Lithuania
   e-mail: Juozas.Ruzevicius@ef.vu.lt

    1. Standards (ISO, EN, Codex Stan, LST,                           REGULATION OF QUALITY
       DIN, BS, NF, GOST, GOST-R and so
       on), technical conditions, hygiene
       norms,        technical       regulations
       (international,    regional,     national,
       industrial, company’s).                                                 6
    2. Additional requirements for quality in
       terms of commercial contract.                           Goods           5      Services
    3. Certification of products and quality                                   4
       systems (quality warranty; declaration
       of supplier; obligatory, voluntary,                                     3
       ecological, origin certification).                                      2
    4. National law regulation (laws,
       resolutions, instructions and so on).                                   1
    5. International       law        regulation
       (International               conventions,                         Companies
       agreements, codes, EU directives,
       WTO decisions).
    6. Requirements of society.

                                   Exhibit 1. Regulation of quality

   Internationalisation of quality is displayed by broader implementation of united
methods, principles, criteria and tools in:

-      formation of quality policy;
-      technical and legal regulation of quality;
-      determination of qualitative − valuable, reliable and safe criteria of production,
       its marking systems;
-      development of international systems of accreditation, conformity warranty
       and certification;
-      quality audit;
-      usage of united programs of quality management and control of manufactures,
       suppliers and subcontractors;
-      assurance of consumer rights protection in quality sphere;
-      preparation of quality managers;
-      creation and implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) models and

2. Philosophy of Total Quality Management

   The formation and application of standardised models of quality systems and
Total Quality Management is one of the recent phenomena of quality management
                     ROMA ADOMAITIENE - JUOZAS RUZEVICIUS                          501

development and internationalisation. As it is shown in exhibit 2, the application of
TQM and creation of quality systems have the biggest influence on activities of
companies and quality improvement of production. It should be noted that the
creation of one or another TQM model and certification of quality systems for many
firms is the last and transitional stage of quality improvement.
    Certification of quality system confirms the high level of the system but it does
not guarantee economical efficiency of system’s functioning and company’s
success. Implementation of Total Quality Management helps to solve this problem
more efficiently.


                                                         Creation       of
                                                         systems (audit,
                                                         ISO 9000, ISO
                                     Programs of         14000,              Total Quality
                   Quality             quality                               Management
                   control          improvement                              (TQM, TQC)

                      Exhibit 2. Efficiency of quality management tools

   Total Quality Management as universal philosophy, methodology of quality
management and system of quality tools formed in the 9th decade of our century.
Principles of Total Quality Management overthrow traditional understanding of
quality. In 1 table some differences between traditional quality management and
TQM are presented.

               PRINCIPLES OF TQM                        TRADITIONAL QUALITY
      Focus on customers                         Focus on rules
      Team collaboration                         Isolated individuals
      Work seeking vision of group or            Work seeking individual’s purposes
      Systematic continuous improvement of       Solution of single problems or there is no
      process                                    improvement
      Systematic collection and usage of         Decisions are made referring to feelings
      empirical data                             or opinion
      Looking for external information           Referring only to internal information
      The criticism is not avoided               Rejecting the criticism as wrong
      Workers are conceded a right to decide     Individuals wait for explanations how to
                                                 do the work
      Prevention                                 Costs of repairing

               Tab. 1: Differences between TQM and traditional quality management

    Total Quality Management orients to the development of all kinds of company’s
activities by seeking for permanent success in satisfying consumers’ requirements,
improving quality of products and services, cutting down the costs. This requires
participation of every employee in the development of shared mission, vision, plans
and in the quest for continuous improvement. Employees and management’s
partnership requires concerted efforts towards the acquisition of knowledge and
skills in meeting day−to−day problems and making fast but low−risk decisions.
    Total Quality Management and concepts of quality systems (ISO 9000) do not
contradict but supplement each other. ISO standards determine the minimum of
requirements to quality that has to be assured combining the interests of suppliers
and consumers. TQM is devoted to satisfy internal firm’s needs more. If ISO
concept answers questions on what needs to be done in assuring quality, then TQM
says how to do that. In addition Total Quality Management allows to evaluate the
efficiency of tools of quality assurance.
    The concept of Total Quality Management is constituted by such main

-     The main attention of management is focused on the satisfaction of internal       and
      external customers’ needs.
-     Continuous development of manufacture and quality assurance.
-     Involving everyone into the processes of quality improvement.
-     Organisational control and organisational structure is concentrated on             the
      prevention of all possible inadequacies, but not on the detection of them.
-     The vision, mission and quality policy of organisation are declared publicly      and
      realised unconditionally.
-     Developing the full human potential of all employees.
-     Managing by fact, using reliable data, information and continuous                 and
                     ROMA ADOMAITIENE - JUOZAS RUZEVICIUS                         503

    systematic analysis.
-   Managing business processes not just functions or departments.
-   Adding value to society, as well as achieving financial goals.
-   Continuous teaching and education are organised and directed to transformation
    of employees’ way of thinking and company’s culture and to implementation of
    TQM philosophy and quality policy.

3. Total Quality Management in education

    Quality has always been the essential thing in education and improving existing
internal systems and procedures. The biggest difference between a good university
and a poor one is the way its administrational processes and teaching are managed.
    Quality of university education does not guarantee employment in the area of the
student’s expertise any more. Students, their families, employers and the
government want assurance that the students will get “good quality” education. The
question is: what does “good quality education” mean?
    In Lithuania there is no single conception of what is the object of quality in
education institutions. Therefore it is important to determine the concept of
“university education”. Such definition would be a guide in formation of teaching
programs, regulation of the education system in the country and would help organise
educational institutions. The concept “university education” can not be limited only
to person’s training for speciality or profession. This concept means that studies of
any science are not the only neither the main constituent of university education.
Concentrating only e.g. on business disciplines (marketing, finance, accounting,
strategy, organisational behaviour and other) gives not much. Students need
interdisciplinary teaching and the development of values, competencies, skills,
attitudes and behaviours. On this substantial precondition it is possible to present
such definition of university education:

    University education is that education whose foundation is formed from the
complex of social humanitarian subjects, oriented to psychological spiritual training
of the person and his acculturation, and on this ground conveys knowledge of at
least one special form of social (public) consciousness as the basis for the future
creative work and practical activity for the professions of that sphere (Berzinskas
G., 1996).

    It is suited to affirm synonymously that the first function of universities is
diverse development of persons as precondition for the creation of a superior
individual. In other words, the main obligation of higher education institutions is to
train the intelligentsia.
    Two aspects have to be analysed when speaking about TQM in higher education.
First, TQM implementation as a teaching course. The teaching of quality is vital in
higher education because of global competitiveness and the nature of quality as a

way of thinking. There are big achievements in this field. TQM is taught in almost
100 European universities and business schools. Most often TQM is taught as a
postgraduate course, but in many cases TQM is part of the first degree course in
qualifying managers of different spheres and quality specialists − quality auditors,
quality engineers and quality managers. Besides that, students of social, economic,
engineering and other specialities and employees of different companies are
acquainted with quality management.
    The necessity of extension of TQM teaching in Lithuania is emphasised in
Lithuanian national quality program. Lithuania is trying not to fall short of European
programs of quality management. Though there are not many quality specialists in
Lithuania. TQM and other subjects related with quality are taught in Vilnius
University, Kaunas Technological University and in other education institutions. In
1995 in Vilnius University, Faculty of Economics, Department of Quality
Management, a Commercial Quality Management speciality was organised in
master's degree. The subjects taught to this group of students correspond to study
programs of quality management in European universities. The main aspects of
TQM teaching at Vilnius university are the following: quality understanding and
awareness; consumer satisfaction management; corporate culture and organisational
change; consumer protection management; employee involvement and
empowerment; problem solving, process improvement and planning tools; process
control; business process management; strategic quality planning; quality assurance
systems and related audits; measurement of performance, standardisation and
certification and more.
    The second aspect of TQM implementation in education institutions is its usage
for assurance of teaching and research quality. In this field TQM is not so
widespread. As tests in 2900 Western European (France, Italy, England, Norway
a.o.) industry enterprises show, TQM implementation is very complicated and it is a
long process. At this moment only 3% of enterprises are fully adopting TQM. The
analysis we carried out shows that the level of TQM implementation in education
institutions is even less. However there are a number of institutions in Europe where
principles of Total Quality Management have been adopted. Quality efforts are
mostly limited to non-academic activities, such as administration and support
functions. The reasons for such situation could be: TQM has been accepted in
similar activities in trade and industry; there is some scepticism towards a formal
quality system. Some staff members fear that the formal quality system might limit
their creativity and ability to deal in an innovative way with different subjects.
However, after some explanations the staff members usually become convinced the
freedom and self-development are also guaranteed in the quality system, even if it is
more structured. The development and implementation of an industrial-like quality
system in education institution is a very hard job.
    The separate project of TEMPUS program − “University management through
an infrastructure of Information Technologies (IT)” − is devoted to the study of
quality of activities of Lithuanian higher education institutions. University
management Joint European Projects of TEMPUS program will promote and
                      ROMA ADOMAITIENE - JUOZAS RUZEVICIUS                             505

facilitate co-operation among higher education institutions of Lithuania and
enterprises, social and public sector in view of creating conditions for higher
education institutions of Lithuania to prepare for participation in European Union
LEONARDO program. Projects should stimulate the potentials of higher education
to meet the growing needs of the labour market and facilitate development of an
open and democratic society.
    Experience and co-operation that Vilnius University will gain during the project
will help to build an integral information system, create conditions for
computerisation of Finance department. In addition project will assure reform of
administration of studies, decentralise management of university: more
responsibility and power to solve different questions will be given to faculties and so
on. We should think that some changes need to be done in the organisational
structure of Vilnius University: for example, to create separate quality management
division that would solve general problems related to quality of teaching and support
functions of university. Besides this quality management division could be a co-
ordinator and controller among institutes, faculties, departments in quality
improvement work. Now there is a group of people who work in the mention
program but they still have a lot of other responsibilities at Vilnius University. So
probably it is hard for them to carry the work through.
    We suggest to carry out the improvement of quality of activities in Lithuanian
higher education institutions according to the scheme used in Economics school of
Lund University, Sweden.


                                                                BOTTOM UP
                           TOP DOWN

                                                                            •   ENGAGEMENT
  •   DIRECTIVES                       FACULTY                              •   CHANGE


                  Exhibit 3. Process of quality improvement and control

    Not only the administration of Vilnius University started to think about quality in
education. the Department of Quality management of Economics Faculty is going to
implement Total Quality Management principles in its everyday work and to use
quality management tools and methods for quality improvement of teaching and
scientific activities. Professors, teachers and other employees of Department of
Quality management have good theoretical knowledge in quality management and

experience in quality improvement in business. However they still have some doubts
and problems about TQM implementation in education system.
    The Department of Quality management assessed and analysed the real situation
in teaching and scientific work of the department. Then it established quality policy.
We think that the main accent forming quality policy and TQM model in education
institutions has to be attached not to student’s teaching but to creation of
possibilities to study by meeting the needs and hopes of student and market.
University has to help individuals taking charge of their own learning, to develop
more individualised learning approaches and cater to individual needs at various
stages of life and career. The main quality factors of study conditions are presented
in exhibit 4.
    The vision and mission of the department spread out:

The vision

    To become the main teaching, methodology and science centre of quality
management, commodity economy and technologic environment of business in

The mission

-     to teach quality management to students of Economics and other faculties in
      Vilnius University, to businessmen and courses' listeners;
-     to teach the disciplines of commodity economy and technologic environment of
-     to prepare graduates of Commercial quality management speciality in master
-     to prepare doctors in Quality management science;
-     in co-operation with universities and quality institutions of North and West
      European countries to carry out researches in quality management methodology
      and science;
-     to develop the works of science and methodology in commodity economy and
      technologic environment of business;
-     to teach the courses of consumer law protection in quality field and consumption
-     in co-operation with Lithuanian economic and public institutions to perform the
      program of information and education in consumer policy and quality field;
-     to take part in the realisation of National quality program.

   The process of quality improvement in the Department of Quality management
we imagine as it is shown in exhibit 4.

                     INPUTS                                                OUTPUTS


      Vision,          Educational programmes
     mission,          Teaching methods, tools                                Continuous
      quality          and surroundings                                        Quality
    policy and         Legal, business, financial         Process
     goals of          and administrative
     organisa-         environment
       tion            Relationship with business
                       practice and society
                       Participation in the
                       international exchanges of
                       teachers and students


             Exhibit 4. Quality improvement process in Department of Quality management

  In Lithuanian education institutions (in Vilnius University too) in quality
management work employees deal with the following major problems:

-      there is no single conception of what is the object of quality in education;
-      many education institutions do not have their clear vision, mission and concrete
       quality policy;
-      the leaders of education institutions lack modern comprehension of quality and
       obligation to it;
                       ROMA ADOMAITIENE - JUOZAS RUZEVICIUS                             509

-   there is poor observation, care and control of quality of students’ industrial
    practice in firms;
-   lack of time and resources (most enterprises prefer short-term purposes to the
    long-term ones);
-   it is complicate to involve all members of the organisation;
-   much time is needed to change personnel traditional standpoint to quality: how
    we teach must be as important as what we teach;
-   after TQM implementation there is no more management improvement, i.e. it is
    hardly converted into a continuous quality improvement process;
-   big part of managers do not understand TQM essence and do not know its
    creation and implementation algorithm.

Bibliographical references

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